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THE RENTIER                  213

interest upon loans whether public or private, and
dividends on joint stock companies or sleeping
partnerships." He added that in his opinion earned
income above a certain figure might reasonably be
added to this category on the ground that it has,
in some instances, very much the same character-
istics as unearned; the income of a " successful pro-
fessional man or clown or jockey or opera star''
being due to peculiar qualities; " and it would be no
great hardship if earned income above, say, a
thousand a year for a married couple, with an
additional three hundred for every child under
twenty-five years of age were regarded as unearned,
and taxed accordingly.1' Income was thus the basis
of Mr H care's scheme. Rente he regards as an
agency regulating distribution, and requiring to be
constantly checked. " It is/' he says, " an
elementary principle of social health and economic
prosperity that the share of the national wealth
enjoyed by the Rentier, by the owner, that is, of
unearned income, should not be excessive/' Most
people who can follow his admirable example and
take a detached and unbiassed view of questions
which affect their pocket so closely, will agree with
Mm in this opinion. The Rentier lives on the
proceeds of work done in the past by him or by some
other person; and it is not good for our economic
health that he should grow too fat at the expense of
those who are working now, lest the latter be
discouraged and work with less spirit.

At the same time we have to remember that the
work done in the past by the Rentier or those whom